America today are experiencing foreign oil addiction (link), oil-wars since 1991, oil-dollar funded terrorist attacks, $33 trillion in Federal debt increasing in tandem with oil imports and oil wars (link), Climate Change because of Federal highways that violate of the Constitution (link to booklet). Since The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1916, we have rebuilt a known path to war.

On September 14, 1787, Dr. Franklin proposed to add Federal taxing powers to build canals to the "post Roads" enumerated limit on Federal "internal improvements."  Mr. Madison recommended it be raise to a power to form corporations to accomplish Federal objectives. Mr. King brought up the risks of "mercantile monopolies;" the Boston Tea Party has been a demonstration against the general government's mercantile transportation monopoly. States voted 8 to 3 to the enumerated limit of only "post Roads," only assuring the Federal obligation to defend free speech by delivering letters.


Notes on the Debates in the Federal Convention, Sept 14, 1787

Docr. FRANKLIN moved [FN15] to add after the words "post roads" Art I. Sect. 8. "a power to provide for cutting canals where deemed necessary"

Mr. WILSON 2ded. the motion

Mr. SHERMAN objected. The expence in such cases will fall on the U. States, and the benefit accrue to the places where the canals may be cut.

Mr. WILSON. Instead of being an expence to the U.S. they may be made a source of revenue.

Mr. MADISON suggested an enlargement of the motion into a power "to grant charters of incorporation where the interest of the U.S. might require & the legislative provisions of individual States may be incompetent." His primary object was however to secure an easy communication between the States which the free intercourse now to be opened, seemed to call for. The political obstacles being removed, a removal of the natural ones as far as possible ought to follow.

Mr. RANDOLPH 2ded. the proposition

Mr. KING thought the power unnecessary.

Mr. WILSON. It is necessary to prevent a State from obstructing the general welfare.

Mr. KING. The States will be prejudiced and divided into parties by it. In Philada. & New York, It will be referred to the establishment of a Bank, which has been a subject of contention in those Cities. In other places it will be referred to mercantile monopolies.

Mr. WILSON mentioned the importance of facilitating by canals, the communication with the Western Settlements. As to Banks he did not think with Mr. King that the power in that point of view would excite the prejudices & parties apprehended. As to mercantile monopolies they are already included in the power to regulate trade.

Col: MASON was for limiting the power to the single case of Canals. He was afraid of monopolies of every sort, which he did not think were by any means already implied by the Constitution as supposed by Mr. Wilson.

The motion being so modified as to admit a distinct question specifying & limited to the case of canals,

N. H. no. Mas. no. Ct. no. N. J. no. Pa. ay. Del. no. Md. no. Va. ay. N. C. no. S. C no. Geo. ay. [FN16]

Federalist #45:

Madison explains this vote in Federalist #45:

"The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State."

Madison in Congress and as President

Speaking against the Cod Fisheries Bill, Feb 6 1792, Madison emphasized that states are sovereign over highways, "they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post roads" (link).

As President Madison explain the post Roads enumerated limit in vetoing The Bonas Bill, "The legislative powers vested in Congress are specified and enumerated in the eighth section of the first article of the Constitution, and it does not appear that the power proposed to be exercised by the bill is among the enumerated powers." (link)  There are 21 Presidential veto messages enforcing the "post Roads" enumerated limit.

Constitution

This vote is documented in the Constitution:

  • Preamble, mandates the Federal government:
    • Tax to "provide for the common defence"
    • Limits it from taxing with the restriction to only "promote the general Welfare."
  • Commerce Clause, "To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;" to coerce commerce from building paths to war, risks to "provide for the common defence." Not to provide highways. Because of the repeated efforts by Senator Henry Clay to tax all Americans for pork highway projects in Kentucky, when the Confederate Constitution was copied, its Commerce Clause noted the Sept 14 vote, "To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes; but neither this, nor any other clause contained in the Constitution, shall ever be construed to delegate the power to Congress to appropriate money for any internal improvement intended to facilitate commerce;
  • post Roads Clause, "To establish Post Offices and post Roads;" The Constitution is an enumerated powers document. Powers enumerated are limited to that enumeration. Powers not enumerated are retained under the sovereignty of We the People and the States.
  • Necessary and Proper, "To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers;" The "foregoing Powers" limits the Federal government ro tax to "provide" for defense of free speech by deliver letters but not to build canal, roads, and other facilities to carry out commerce. Madison emphasizes this in Federalist #45.
  • No Preference, "No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another."
  • The Preamble is restated in Amendments 9 and 10 of the Bill of Rights that powers not enumerated are retained by We the People and by the States:
    • Amendment 9: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."
      • Two aspects of Liberty intertwine in a Darwinian crucible of creative to innovate the "general welfare:"
      • Tolerance of Disruptive Minorities offering choices. There are few Disruptive Minorities as tiny and disruptive as inventors or those correcting long-standing injustices.
      • Tolerance of people sorting choices via free markets and free speech, the Wisdom of the Many. Adam Smith's "invisible hand" is not invisible, just tiny. It is the vast accumulation of tiny acts of liberty by each of us as we choose between choices. The aggregated wisdom of all of us, with each of us acting in our own self-interest, is wiser than the wisest of us at choosing between choices.
    • Amendment 10: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."

The Constitution Divided Sovereignty between in the Federal mission statement, the Preamble:

  • We the People as sovereigns retail all powers not enumerated as sacrificed in written Constitutions.
  • Federal government over war and actions that build paths to war.
  • States for sovereignty granted them by the people of each state. This is generally the power to coerce compliance with laws to minimize violence from crimes, commercial disputes, and internal improvements.

 

Internal improvements are state sovereignty, Federalist #45 (Madison):

"The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State."

Federalist #46 (Madison):

"The federal and State governments are in fact but different agents and trustees of the people, constituted with different powers, and designed for different purposes."

Violating the Constitution's "post Roads" enumerated limit to build Federal highways resulted in foreign oil addiction, oil-wars, oil-dollar funded terrorism, $33 trilling in Federal debt increasing in tandem with oil imports and oil-wars, Climate Change, and Peak Oil (resource depletion).

Timeline

  • 1907, Wilson v. Shaw, the Supreme Court scrapped the written Constitution for the "living Constitution".
  • 1913 the 16th Amendment allowed the Federal government to tax people making more than $350,000 (in 2018 dollars) to support the Federal mission of "provide for defence". It did not expand Federal authority to tax to "provide for the general welfare". The Preamble still limits the Federal government to only "promote the general welfare".
  • 1913 the 17th Amendment reduced the cost of political corruption from buying half a state legislature to merely contributing to a Senate campaign. Senators shifted their allegiance from the State Government who previously elected them to the corporations and unions who funded their popular election. They began to tax to mandate infrastructure to sell cars, oil, and coal.
  • The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1916 powerful Congress began taxing all Americans for pork projects in their districts to reward those funding elections.
  • 1919 the 18th Amendment granted Federal taxing powers to coerce commerce (selling a beer). Although repealed by the 21st Amendment, the taxing and police powers established remained.

There can be Federal highway and other welfare programs, but taxing to fund them is state sovereignty. States taxing to provide funds holds the Federal government accountable for the efficacy of such programs.